Befriending Nemo loading...
Befriending Nemo
Clownfish captivate moviegoers, scientists – and anemones.
Breeding Aquarium Fish Can Help Save Reefs loading...
Breeding Aquarium Fish Can Help Save Reefs
People are still figuring out how to breed many species in captivity, but new advances could help halt reef destruction and protect vulnerable wild fish.
About Clownfish

Bright orange with three distinctive white bars, clown anemonefish are among the most recognisable of all reef-dwellers. They reach about 4.3 inches (11 centimetres) in length, and are named for the multicoloured sea anemone in which they make their homes.

Clownfish perform an elaborate dance with an anemone before taking up residence, gently touching its tentacles with different parts of their bodies until they are acclimated to their host. A layer of mucus on the clownfish's skin makes it immune to the fish-eating anemone's lethal sting. In exchange for safety from predators and food scraps, the clownfish drives off intruders and preens its host, removing parasites.

Fast Facts 

Type: Fish

Diet: Carnivore

Average life span in the wild: 6 to 10 years

Size: 4.3 in (11 cm)

Group name: School

Did you know? Ironically, Finding Nemo, a movie about the anguish of a captured clownfish, caused home-aquarium demand for them to triple.

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